As social media has progressed and incorporated into how most companies run their business, there is still a lack of those who have fully embraced it not just to manage their customer service and market their product, but to make changes within the organization.
Stats are all over the place in regards to how many companies actually use social listening for customer care (this article claims that 13% of customers on Twitter receive a response). Today we highlight the companies that do a stellar job not just at online customer service, but at using the information they’ve learned by listening to transform the way they do business.
Dell has garnered a good amount of praise for their social efforts. They don’t just respond to customer complaints, they do much of their problem solving in the online world, to give their fans a chance to solve the problems the company faces. Their IdeaStorm site allows fans to submit issues and create conversations surrounding common themes, but they also post StormSessions, where they pose questions and challenges to customers and partners who then offer up solutions and ideas on the issue at hand. This demonstrates the company is listening, actively interested in improving and really is invested in what their customers want.
As you can imagine, Southwest Airlines deals with a huge number of customers who need help on a daily basis. Most of us assume we need to call when we have a problem that really needs looking into, but that’s not the case. Their social media team does all the usual responding and reaching out on Twitter, but they also have the ability to rebook flights, track bags, and issue travel vouchers. This is fabulous… Their social team doesn’t need to check with someone else in so-and-so department to make a change; they can make things happen. This saves time on the customer side of things but also on Southwest’s. A 140-character tweet can happen faster than a phone conversation. This is a great example of a company who listened to what their customers needed and made it happen.
L.L. Bean taps it’s online audience to test new merchandise before rolling it out in-store across the company. “Online test marketing” can help retailers determine the most popular products before making large purchases and rolling it out company-wide. L.L. Bean utilizes its social audience, online surveys and product reviews to help determine next steps. Not only is this smart business, but also an opportunity to advertise these items to their online fans only as an exclusive loyalty perk.
There is a wealth of information online that can help companies determine where their focus should be and how they can solve problems. It’s no surprise that the companies already doing this are the preferred brands of millions.